The Principles of Mastering Time Management

High School Edition

The Principles of Mastering Time Management

Fernanda Matias, Editor of Passion

High school is a demanding time for many students – balancing a social life and self-care while also dealing with a rigorous academic schedule is challenging, and many have a hard time juggling all three. However, by mastering time management, students have the ability to maximize their time and pursue a less stressful life. 

Time management is defined as the ability to effectively maximize one’s time. This article will cover seven crucial skills to master this ability:


Organization is the key to productivity. In order to work efficiently, it’s helpful to have a clean and organized environment to efficiently facilitate all the work that must be done. This includes having a clean and tidy workspace, categorizing school supplies (notebooks, binders, folders, etc.), and systemizing e-documents. In maintaining an organized environment, you are eliminating any hassle and trouble that may come with a disordered space, thus saving time.


Planners are a major aid in managing your schedule. Utilize a planner to arrange your days by writing your daily to-dos as well as your weeks by noting any upcoming events. This way, no assignments will be forgotten and you are able to plan your weeks based on your availability each day.


Determining the order in which you will complete your daily tasks may seem minute– but it is vital in establishing the most efficient and effective schedule. Below are a couple of examples of ways to prioritize your tasks:

  1. In order of time sensitivity: complete your most urgent tasks first, followed by assignments that are due on a further date.
  2. In order or involvement: complete easier, quicker tasks first, followed by more involved, longer tasks, or vice-versa.

Another tip is the 1-minute rule, which is where you complete any task that takes one minute or less immediately. This may include washing a dish, answering an email, or picking up a few things off your floor.


Goal-setting is important in establishing your future objectives and enables you to focus on what you are working towards. Goals should be established in the short-term and long-term– such as getting an A on a math test or getting into your dream college. Your tasks and priorities should align with your goals.

Deadlines are a great example of a short-term goal. Establish realistic deadlines for each assignment and push yourself to meet them. Additionally, you can allocate deadlines a few days earlier than the actual due date, allowing you to complete any assignments that get in the way of it.

Defeating procrastination

Procrastination kills productivity. Oftentimes, when we feel overwhelmed or bored by an assignment, we resort to distractions to entertain ourselves rather than maintaining focus. To avoid procrastination, the first step is to eliminate distractions. A major distraction is our phone, so when doing homework, store your phone away from your study space to allow yourself to focus. It is also important to establish efficient study habits, such as the Pomodoro method. This method will allow you to avoid getting bored by building breaks into your study schedule.

Filling in the gaps of your day

You will often find yourself with many small gaps in your day where you have nothing to do. Fill those small breaks with meaningful activities. If you get to school before class starts, study in the library or ask your teachers for assistance. During advisory, you can get a head-start on homework. Maybe you finish your lunch early and find yourself with a few extra minutes to complete a task you weren’t entirely able to finish in class. Cumulatively, these small chunks of time add up to a significant amount. Oftentimes, we fill in these gaps by going on our phones, but there is always something more productive and meaningful to accomplish– whether it be socializing with friends, reading a book, or knocking off a task from your to-do list.

Stress management

Without stress management, you will not be able to fully optimize your efficiency. It is crucial to prioritize your well-being above all else. Without a stable foundation, it will be difficult to reach success in other aspects of your life. Three main ways to manage stress include: incorporating small breaks throughout the day, rewarding yourself once you’ve achieved your short-term/ long-term goals, and giving yourself a brain break every day to increase focus and productivity. This may include going outside, exercising, calling a friend, participating in a favorite hobby, or listening to music. Even if it is only for five minutes, give yourself a chance to relax and refresh every day.  

All in all, mastering time management will enhance your productivity in school, and allow you to maintain a more balanced life. Exercise these time management skills to amplify your academic success.